Before the infamous Girl Talk show at the GSU on September 20, Greg Gillis caught up with WTBU for an interview. Here are some links to the interview, led by WTBU DJs Peisin, Garrett, Jack, and Zach. The interview aired on their show, High Fidelity, last week.
WTBU Election Talk airs on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 pm, featuring policy topic discussions, interviews with student activists, recaps of important speeches, and more. Every week, we put callers on air to voice their opinions on topics discussed.
So far on the show, topics discussed have included the vice presidential candidates, third parties, the importance of the youth vote, and corporate governance. Two weeks ago, we interviewed activists from an awesome voter registration organization called Head Count, which goes out to concerts and registers young voters.
Last week, WTBU Election Talk was lucky enough to interview David D. Burstein, the 19-year-old founder of 18 in '08, a film that discusses the significance of the youth vote in this election. Since its creation, the film has evolved into a national movement across college campuses, including film screenings, voter registration events, speakers, etc. Click here to download the interview!
Throughout the rest of the semester, WTBU Election Talk also plans to discuss foreign policy, fair/free trade, energy/sustainability, the environment, health care, net neutrality & first amendment rights, immigration, affirmative action, women's rights, and gender issues. If you are an activist who would like to be interviewed on-air, email Liz Pelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Melanie Duzyj (email@example.com).
Don't miss our first event on Tuesday, October 7. WTBU is teaming up with the Community Service Center to register voters and play music in the the GSU Plaza all day, followed by a rally from 4-6. The event is supported by the Dean of Students, who will be present at the rally, along with on-campus political groups, musicians, and speakers. The rally will air live on WTBU! More details to come.
Boston area native Juliana Hatfield performed at the cozy Brattle Theatre last Sunday night in Cambridge.
Canadian folk rocker Hayden opened, and his easy nature quickly made him a favorite with the crowd. He and his band played through a balanced set of ballads and more uptempo rock numbers. Highlights include the full audience partipation on "Where and When," a well told (and hilarious) story from the road, and some great solos.
Juliana Hatfield took the stage around a quarter to 11 to quite an ovation. She started out a bit stiff as she seemed to feel out the hometown crowd: a blend of older folks who had grown up with Hatfield in contrast with young people relatively new to (but just as enamored with) her music. About halfway through, she asked for the stage lights to be turned down—a turning point in the night. What followed was a change in mood; she relaxed and began to take more liberties with her songs and voice. It was then clear that Hatfield had found her comfort zone among us in the intimate theater.
She played through much of How to Walk Away, her latest, and included some older material that drew appreciative, nostalgic applause. The setlist left something to be desired, though that seems inevitable, as it would be impossible to sufficiently cover 20 years and 10 full albums worth of great music in one night. Still, Hatfield delivered, especially during her solo encore in which she played the classic "My Sister" and an inspired "Law of Nature."
It takes a dedicated group of music fans to put their entertainment second to the musician's attitude toward a performance, but such thoughtfulness seems to be the order of the day for Juliana Hatfield fans. Between songs lived a silence that only the highest regard and respect can command; it stemmed from a shared eagerness to somehow convey our unwavering loyalty and support for someone whom we want so badly to just smile! So we collectively held our breaths for the alt. rock phenomenon and notorious loner before us when emphatic cheering wasn't in fashion, and crossed all our fingers.
Tomorrow morning, Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club, Choke, and more) is calling into BU In The Morning Monday for a phone interview to promote the release of Choke, his film set for release on September 26. BUITM airs five days a week from 10 a.m. to noon. Tune in!
Say what you want about The Mars Volta, but they can make some music. Despite losing longtime drummer Jon Theodore and taking a much more intense approach with their new album, The Bedlam In Goliath, Sunday's show at the Orpheum Theatre proved that they are still a world-class band.
Make no mistake; the entire feel and sound of the band is different with new drummer Thomas Pridgen on the throne. However, the spirit of The Mars Volta remains the same. From the opening twenty-minute "Goliath" jam to the closing song "Ilyena", the band kept the whole crowd on its feet. The Mars Volta were unrelenting, firing on all cylinders for over an hour and a half with no breaks, maintaining constant hard rock fueled by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's hypnotic guitar riffs, Cedric Bixler-Zavala's melodic wails, Pridgen's onslaught of drums, and a wall of sound created by keys, guitar effects, saxophone and percussion.
Singer Bixler-Zavala was superb, hitting every mind-blowingly high note in "Goliath" flawlessly, all while performing his usual mic stand-destroying and throwing in some "Dirty Water" lyrics to the bemusement of the fans. Lead guitarist and creative center Rodriguez-Lopez was reminiscent of Miles Davis; he is undoubtedly the brains of the whole operation, changing a song with a glance or a flick of his hand, even going too far as to duel with Pridgen during "Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus", starting and stopping simultaneous machine-gun riffs with him and lengthening them until you could see Pridgen grimace and grunt with strain. It's an exciting stage trick, and if it was improvised, that's even more impressive.
However, The Mars Volta is not a band into crowd-pleasing; the only words said to the crowd were a short "thank you" at the end from Bixler-Zavala. There was no encore, and mostly songs from Bedlam were played. Fans were disappointed that there was nothing at all to represent the stellar De-Loused at the Comatorium, although they did include in their Cygnus jam their mainstream breakthrough "The Widow", preserving the order from Frances the Mute. But The Mars Volta is about the music anyway, not about the show. No one leaving the theatre could complain about having heard a poor band that night. The Mars Volta truly put on one of the best concerts I personally have ever heard, and I feel bad for those that missed it.
In a way, I was almost disappointed that the Mission of Burma show at the Newbury Comics on Newbury Street was merely excellent. When you swallow without question stories from Our Band Could Be Your Life about how every Mission of Burma show was either terrible or transcendent, it's hard not to be let down. A part of me wanted the show to have been terrible, in light of stories like that, to prove they still had transcendence in them.
On the other hand, that part of me sucks, and the trio of middle-aged men put the dreamy young bands you see at BU Central to shame. Yes, they played the hits, such as they were. "Peking Spring", "Academy Fight Song", and, of course, "That's When I Reach For My Revolver", all made their expected appearances, all played exactly as on the records but with even higher energy (and it bears repeating, even in the same paragraph, that these are middle-aged men playing songs they wrote and recorded in their twenties).
In the band's defense, they played the hits because they didn't apparently have a setlist, and took requests from the audience, a mix of old punks and young fans who wanted to hear the anthems.
Further, they played a fair mix of old and new material, with "Fame and Fortune", off of their old Signals Calls and Marches EP, acting as a launching pad for "2wice", the opener from 2006's The Obliterati, and the disco-meets-"Thunderstruck" bass line of "Donna Sumeria", from the latter album, complementing the Gang-of-Four-on-stimulants "Outlaw", from the former one. They even dragged out "New Nails", one of the most abrasive songs from Vs., by audience request. It sounded better than the record, and that's pretty good for a band whose reputation as a touchstone of alternative rock has largely survived based on their albums.
Just about the only disappointments of the night were the crowd, which made it hard to see the band, and the lack of deviation from the recordings. Even a little improvisation is probably pretty hard in jerky post-punk, but it wouldn't have killed them to change things up a little to show they're not getting complacent as well as old.
Towards the end of the set, Miller asked the crowd if the guitar was loud enough. The crowd consensus was that everything should be louder. "You have all the time in the world to destroy your ears," he said, "and we're glad to help."
(setlist after the jump!) Trem Two/1001 Pleasant Dreams/New Nails/Peking Spring/Weatherbox/That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate/Donna Sumeria/Fame and Fortune/2wice/The Enthusiast/Academy Fight Song/Prettiest Girl (?)/That's When I Reach for My Revolver/Outlaw/I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement Type rest of the post here
Much buzzed about Base Trip Records kicked off the school year with acoustic performances from two of its artists at The Channel Cafe in South Boston last Saturday night. Friends and supporters of the BU-based record label gathered in the spacious cafe to eat, laugh and sing with featured performers Allison Francis and Stephanie Barrak.
Francis went first with her impassioned, youthful take on folk. Her songs tell tales of the hope and sorrow of growing up; from Portland to Boston to Massapequa, Francis related tales of her travels with her earnest, unshy vocals. She mixed favorites like "Lost on this Side" in with newer material like the solemn "In June pt. II." She ended with a cover and some help from a friend, complete with an impromptu run-through of choruses from such amusing pop hits as Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me."
Stephanie Barrak and her back-up band (someone's little brother with an avocado-looking maraca) stepped up next. Always the comedian, Barrak kept things light during her set. While she never takes herself too seriously, her songs speak for themselves: honest and simple, and always comprised of pretty melodies. She played early material like the catchy "Drift With It," which never fails to draw "this should be in a movie" comments. Barrak also debuted some new songs, one of them with her two friends harmonizing on back-up vocals to make for a particularly moving performance.
The night then turned into a free-for-all as friends pushed friends to the front to perform a song or two on guitar. If there is a common thread in the Base Trip camp, it is one of community and appreciation for music and for everyone. Be sure to check them out at a gig sometime, as they will be making appearances in and around BU throughout the year.
As the sun sets on the summer, brighten your Monday's on WTBU with Sarah J. Berg and St. Jen Choi on Meows & Muses [Mon 8am-10am].
Superbly placed, early enough to brush your teeth to but not so late it spills into your classes and intense study, Meows & Muses can and will change your life.
While promising the day's greatest indie, alternative, rap, soft rock, smooth jazz, aboriginal tribal hymns, and CCM, be prepared for the year's best banter as two of Boston's wittiest kittens muse about topics like: urban poverty, the war on drunks, loneliness, campus happenings, off-campus happenings, Andrew W.K., and of course, CATS!
It'll be absolutely purrrfect.
Liz Pelly of the Pelly Twins calls it: "Seriously Jen?! I am showering!"
As Boston University, College of Communication, sophomore Sam Inchausti says: "Wow, I can't believe they gave you show this semester."
So, check out their blog for weekly track listings, music news, and other great reads!
If homework or studying is keeping you from checking out Jammin Thursdays, the new weekly dance parties held in the back court of the GSU, tune in to WTBU's alternate stream (visit WTBUradio.org and under "listen now", click "alternate stream") for weekly live broadcasts from 10 pm to 2 am!
On Thursday, September 18, WTBU will proudly present an incredible line-up of artists for its Elliott Smith tribute show. WTBU caught up with Michael Runion, the show's headliner, who talked to us about Elliott's influence. Michael Runion is an LA-based singer/songwriter who has shared the stage with Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley, Feist, Death Cab, and others.
How has Elliott influenced you as a musician?
I first saw Elliot in 1999 at Yo Yo A Go Go Fest in Olympia, Washington. A friend had introduced me only a week prior. He played by himself, and I was immediately a fan. When I started writing my own songs in 2003, I wanted to write songs that were sad and pretty. I think that's the strongest influence. And his guitar playing is beyond incredible. I wish I could say the same for my own.
Why do you think Elliott has proven to be so influential on musicians in general?
I think he's been influential on musicians because of his timing. He was a singer/songwriter in indie rock while people were still getting over the anti-melody of the early to mid 90's. So much stuff was distorted and abrasive--very unpolished. If you look at a lot of label rosters from that time, it's all post-fuzz, bands that weren't comfortable referencing The Beatles or Simon and Garfunkel. So I think he made it okay to be a singer/songwriter that wasn't a singer/songwriter, someone that wasn't just fingerpicking to bad diary excerpts at a coffee shop.
Why are you most excited to be playing at an elliott smith tribute show? Have you played any shows like this in the past?
I'm most excited because his music has meant a lot to me. (I also happened to record my first album at his studio, New Monkey, two years after he passed.) Either/Or is one of my favorite records ever. I hope I can do some of his songs justice. I've never played anything like this before. Very exciting...
Interested in getting involved with WTBU, Boston University's student-run radio station?!?!!? Come to our interested staff meeting to learn how to become an intern for a show. (An internship with WTBU is a prerequisite for becoming a DJ.) We'll also explain how to get involved with concert planning, promotions, PR, blogging, the street team, production, programming, advertising, and more.
Sarah J Berg - General Manager Peisin Yang Lazo - Programming Director Liz Pelly - Music Director Ali Donohue - Music Director Blair Dowd - BU in the Morning Director Sylvia Kim - Intern Director Adam Lauria - New Media Director Tara Jayakar - Public Relations Director Adam Azahari - Promotions Director Jessica Rowley - Live Events Director Brittany Nahum - Underwriting Director Kendra Long - Underwriting Director Joe DiFazio - Productions Director Sopan Deb - Sports Director Jackson Tobin - News Director Justin Monestime - Station Admin Nick Loureiro - Tech Director Anne Donohue - Faculty Advisor
Send music submissions to: WTBU Music Directors 640 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA 02215
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